View more on these topics

Comment: Customers must dictate change

As consumer expectations evolve rapidly and are influenced by technology, lenders must keep up or risk losing business

The importance attached to customer satisfaction should be evident in any sector and requires constant monitoring. As mortgage customers come in many forms with differing needs, there are a lot of layers involved in delivering satisfaction in our market. But it is vital we get it right for all links in the chain, starting at the bottom.

Recent research from the Council of Mortgage Lenders looked at how well first-time buyers within the past two years viewed the actions of their mortgage provider. On the whole the results were encouraging, with only 3 per cent of respondents indicating dissatisfaction to some degree. This echoed 2016’s data and was a strong improvement on that of 2014 and 2015.

In addition, just over two-thirds (68 per cent) of first-time buyers were reported as satisfied or very satisfied; again similar to the 2016 figure and higher than in previous years. When combining the results into an overall weighting of satisfaction, the evidence suggests modest but progressive improvement since 2014.

Inevitably, there was still room for improvement in certain areas. Lenders scored more weakly on issues surrounding customer empowerment and engagement. As pointed out in the research, this is an area where consumer expectations are evolving rapidly and influenced powerfully by developments in other sectors, as well as the growth of technology.

Heightened expectations are also apparent when dealing with another vital element within our customer field: the intermediary community. Technology continues to influence and transform the mortgage journey for buyers and advisers. The appetite and ability to access information and transact business through smart, mobile technology are both growing rapidly.

Developing and integrating systems in a responsible manner continues to be an ongoing challenge for lenders – one we must meet head on if we are to improve customer empowerment and engagement across both direct and intermediary channels.

Craig Calder is director of mortgages at Barclays

Recommended

Hartley-Julian-Tesco-Bank-2017

One to One: Julian Hartley, product director, Tesco Bank

Talking to as many partners as possible, building trust with brokers, plans for a proc fee that recognises their efforts – and admiration for a Swedish tennis legend As product director of savings, loans and mortgages at Tesco Bank, what is your favourite aspect of your job? Working with the many fantastic people in what […]

Business-Handshake-Finance-Deal-700.jpg

The Mortgage Lenders forms partnership with Crystal Specialist Finance

The Mortgage Lender has added Crystal Specialist Finance to its network of distribution partners. The specialist distributor offers residential and commercial mortgages, bridging loans, second charge loans and development finance. Crystal Specialist Finance head of operations Kris Corns says: “We’re delighted to form this partnership with The Mortgage Lender and become a distribution partner. “Our […]

Money-Cash-Coins-GBP-Pounds-UK-700x450.jpg

Lender SVRs: ‘Inertia tax’ or consumer benefit?

Lenders’ SVRs have come under fire, with some critics condemning the rates as an ‘inertia tax’ that harms consumers, although others have stepped in to defend the charge. Last week online mortgage broker Trussle published research stating that the big six lenders were penalising borrowers who came off two-year fixed rates by imposing average rate […]

Value for money in DC pensions

The Pension Policy Institute (PPI)’s recent report “Value for money in DC pensions” tries to identify factors by which people can assess whether their pension offers fair value for money (VFM). Fiona Tait provides an overview of the findings. Positive Outcomes It is extremely hard to assess VFM in a pension. Press activity naturally focuses […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up